Testimony – Samantha Meza-Gomez

My name is Samantha Meza- Gomez. I am 25 years old and a mother to a boy named Prince, who is about to turn five years old soon. I have been privileged to further my job experience and education through MHCC Head start. I have been able to move up positions throughout the past few years thanks to the knowledge and experience I have gained working for Head Start. I am now the Administrative Assistant for the MHCC Head start Enrollment Department. I am honored to be part of a Head Start organization dedicated to changing lives, improving our community, and helping families with higher needs.

Growing up, my mother, siblings and I were a family with higher needs. My mother had left her native country to start a new life in the U.S. for a better future. However, there are many hardships coming to the U.S. as an immigrant and having to navigate the language barrier. On top of the hardships she encounter as an immigrant in the States, she was also in a very abusive relationship with my biological father whom she had three kids with. She felt stuck in a situation that was not good for herself and us. We had no place of our own, moving around consistently. It was a nightmare we couldn’t wake up from. We encountered many hardships and abuse that, to this day, are hard to write about. I can share that our lives completely changed for the best once Head Start became part of our support system. Once my mother heard about Head Start through the WIC program. My siblings and I were all enrolled at the first site MHCC Head start had opened, the Mt Hood location. Thanks to all the unconditional support received from the teachers, staff, and our Family worker, my mother-built confidence in herself and accomplished her goals. She left the abusive relationship she had been in for so long. We were in a safe childcare environment and had our own place, for the first time since she arrived to the U.S.; my mother could maintain a full-time job and was mentally there for her children. All of this would not have happened without MHCC Head start services. My mother received all the tools and resources necessary to overcome the many hardships we encountered. This included free childcare, community/social resource referrals, parenting classes, counseling services, and more. “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” That is what MHCC Head Start did for my family support us during desperate times and let us know that we weren’t alone. The love and passion for helping others is what Head Start is to me. Head Start has shaped a big part of who I am today. I’m always learning something new. My beliefs as a human being and the respect to serve others is one of my priorities in my career in Head Start.

-Samantha Meza-Gomez
Former Head Start student/Current Employer at MHCC Head Start